When you ask any fan what they love about Star Trek, you’ll get a variety of answers, from compelling stories to fantastic characters, to its hopeful vision of the future. But lurking underneath all of that is what REALLY matters most: the great ships! And what’s more fun than building a replica of one of those ships with your own two hands? And with people spending more time at home these days, an affordable and easy crafting project may be just the distraction you are looking for.
Insight Editions have been producing “IncrediBuilds” laser-cut wooden model kits for years including a number of iconic Star Wars ships. In the last couple years, they have added three Star Trek ships to their lineup. The Star Trek vessels come from across the franchise: the Original Series U.S.S. Enterprise, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, and the NCC-1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But how do these models stack up? Two members of the TrekMovie team took a crack of building them, each with a different level of modeling experience. To find out how it went, read on!
What You Get:
DENES: Each package contains the pieces needed to assemble the model, a set of illustrated instructions that walk you step-by-step through assembly, an advertising flyer for IncrediBuilds’ other model lines, and a 32-page softcover booklet written by Dayton Ward, that illustrates both the in-universe history of the ship and behind-the-scenes information about the design and construction of its filming model.
Building the Bloody Thing:
DENES: Building these models is so easy, a chimpanzee and two trainees could do it. Each model comes with a sheet or two of laser-cut pieces that are fairly easy to punch out, and the directions for piecing the ship together are clearly illustrated and simple to follow. Just be careful not to punch out pieces before you need them, as many are tiny, and difficult to keep track of when loose. We’d recommend keeping your unpunched sheets of parts in a tray of some sort, just in case a piece or two gets loose unintentionally.
The instructions indicate that glue is optional, but if you want your model to stay intact, we recommend using a little white school glue between pieces, especially pieces that lie flat against each other, as friction alone may not be enough to maintain their connection.
Building the Bird-of-Prey took about 35 minutes.
LAURIE: I’m not a model builder. I had a K-7 Space Station model kit as a kid and all I remember is one of its three arms falling apart every time I breathed near one of the other two. But my kit—my beloved Enterprise NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B, C, or D)—was shockingly easy and fun to put together, tiny pieces and all. The instructions were clear, had great tips (as Denes mentioned, it said not to punch out pieces until they were needed), and my kit had extras for the littlest pieces just in case.
I didn’t even need glue!
I confess I had a harder time with the 1701-D. The instructions stopped me in my tracks a few times as I tried to figure out what the pictures were showing me, and the saucer bits didn’t come together as smoothly as I hoped. It still looked cool when I was done, but it feels a little precarious. To be fair, I DID warn you I’m not good at this sort of thing.
A Stack of Books with Legs:
DENES: The Inside Look booklets that come with each model are lavishly illustrated and breezily written by top Trek novelist Dayton Ward. Probably nothing in these booklets will come as a surprise to a dedicated Trek fan, but they are well written, and the pictures are great. We noticed some typos and incorrect information in the Bird-of-Prey booklet, which was disappointing.
These models are fun for newbies and Star Trek collectors, but if you’re looking for something complicated to take up days of your time, they’re not for you. If you need a distraction and you like having cool-looking unusual models, you’re the perfect customer.
DENES: The finished models are attractive and interesting, if surprisingly small, and can be painted by the modeler or left in their cool natural-wood finish look. What the models lack in intricate detail, they make up for in conversation appeal and kookiness. These things are a whole lot of fun, is what we’re saying.
LAURIE: He’s right! I immediately brought out my Doomsday Machine and started humming that familiar music, to the dismay of my teenagers.
The completed models are about 6-7 inches long.
3 IncrediBuilds Star Trek models available now
You can pick up the three IncrediBuilds Star Trek models online. Amazon has all three: Original Series U.S.S. Enterprise for $17,99, the Next Generation U.S.S. Enterprise-D for $11.80, and the Klingon Bird of Prey for $22.95.
Keep up with Star Trek merchandise news and reviews at TrekMovie.com.